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Protecting your Brand: What is Intellectual Property and Why is it Important to Business Owners & Entrepreneurs?

Intellectual property law governs the rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to inventions, designs, and artistic works. Protecting your brand is not just for large corporations, it is vital to the growth and protection of the bottom line of businesses of all size.

Trademarks protect symbols, names, and slogans used to identify goods and services. The purpose is to avoid confusion, deter misleading advertising, and help consumers distinguish one brand from another. Since the goal is to distinguish brands, generic or purely descriptive marks may not qualify. Rights can potentially last forever, and they are obtained by simply using a mark.

Copyrights apply to writings, music, motion pictures, architecture, and other original intellectual and artistic expressions. Protection is not available for theories or ideas, or anything that has not been captured in a fixed medium. The act of creation itself produces a copyright and unpublished works are still protected. Use of a copyright symbol and date is common, but not mandatory. Most copyrights are valid for the creator’s lifetime, plus 70 years.

While registration is not required, owners are advised to register their marks and works in order to create a shield of protection and evidence of ownership to present to court or anyone who may attempt to claim the alternative in the future. Curious how this might apply to your work, brand or business? Email us at info@kmrlawgroup.com to learn more!

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Knight Morris & Reddick Law Group
333 S. Wabash Avenue, Suite 2700
Chicago Illinois 60604

Call: 312-574-0181
Fax: 312.212.3007